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Climbing Roses

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July 16, 2018

Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist


I’m becoming more of a fan of roses, especially climbing roses today on Southern Gardening.

Years ago I grew a fantastic climbing rose called Blaze that has been in the trade since 1932. I loved the way this monster completely filled in a blank brick wall, something about how vertical height creates interest in the landscape. But I didn’t like the annual pruning in the spring because I never could find a pair of gloves thick enough to protect my hands from the thorns. Let me introduce a couple of climbers that don’t have that thorny problem. Lady Banks Rose is an old rose, which we think of having southern roots because it is so common in our landscapes. We most frequently see in our southern gardens the yellow double form, Rosa banksiae lutescens, first discovered and introduced in 1824. Peggy Martin climbing rose has a more recent history. I had the pleasure of meeting Peggy Martin herself earlier this year and learning the amazing story of her namesake rose, also called the hurricane rose. The rose produces spring clusters of small pink flowers and after establishment will rebloom in the fall season. Both of these climbing roses have few problems to worry about and tolerate our Mississippi seasons. Calling both roses climbers is a little misleading as they don’t actually climb by themselves, they’re more like sprawlers. They need to be tied to and trained to grow up and over wall, fence or trellis. Until next time, I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman enjoying our Southern Gardening.

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